Claremore Daily Progress

November 19, 2013

Opong hits career-high, Hillcats top Ouachita Baptist in OT


FORT SMITH, Ark. — Fueled by the standout performance of senior Robinson Odoch Opong, the Rogers State men’s basketball team slid past Ouachita Baptist, 111-106, in overtime on Saturday afternoon at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Classic.

Opong ignited the Hillcat offense right from the start, tallying RSU’s first 14 points, including four 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the game.  The Quebec City, Quebec native poured in a RSU single-game record 43 points while tying the single-game 3-point record with seven treys on the night.

RSU opened the first half with a 14-4 lead and stretched the advantage to 20 points to end the half with a layup by J.C. Hartzler to cap a 9-0 run. Opong tallied 23 first half points with five treys and the Hillcats took care of the basketball with just four turnovers.

The Hillcat held their double digit lead throughout much of the second half, pushing their advantage to 21 points with a trey by Opong. However, the Tigers rallied and used an 18-4 run to cut the Hillcat lead to seven points with 7:30 to play in the game.  The Hillcats clung to the single digit lead but couldn’t hold on over the final five minutes. The Tigers cut the lead to four points but Opong converted a conventional three-point play to push the lead back to seven points. The Tigers used a 7-0 run to knot the score. The teams traded buckets over the last three minutes of regulation with Damien Hooks tallying the equalizer with 18 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime for the second night in a row.

The Hillcats were able to correct their mistakes from their overtime loss to Henderson State Friday night, earning the win in the first overtime period. The score was knotted three times in overtime before RSU took control of the lead. Hartzler completed a conventional three-point play with 2:12 remaining to give RSU a three point lead and RSU held the advantage the rest of the way.  

 Opong led a group of four Hillcats in double digit scoring. Hook tallied 26 points while freshman Jeylyn Sharpe and Hartzler scored 15 points apiece. RSU won the battle on the boards, 35-27. RSU shot 55-percent from the field, 57.1-percent from behind the arc and 78.7-percent from the charity stripe.

Rogers State (2-2) returns to action on Thursday night as the Hillcats host Central Baptist at 7 p.m. inside the Claremore Expo. The game will be streamed live on the Hillcat Network at and on RSU Radio 91.3 FM.